News

Foster Youth Need Stimulus Payments - No Strings Attached

Yesterday, the Department of Child Safety finally re-launched an online portal to distribute COVID relief funds to older and former foster youth. The new portal, administered by Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, allows young people ages 14 through 26 to apply for needs-based pandemic relief. $10.5M in federal funds for the relief were allocated to Arizona in early March, but DCS is having trouble getting the money out the door—and time is running out for young people ages 21 through 26 who will lose eligibility on September 30th.

The first iteration of the portal was cumbersome and the process was time-consuming. Although DCS agreed to correct the problems and re-launch a new version of the portal, nearly two months have gone by without any way for young people to apply for funds while a new portal and process were readied. Unfortunately, even though the process may be improved, DCS continues to rely on need-based criteria to distribute the funds. Despite federal guidance, urging from community stakeholders, and a spate of other states that have adopted the strategy, Arizona refuses to make stimulus checks available to all eligible young people who have aged out of foster care.

That’s why Fostering Advocates Arizona (FAAZ), a group of policy advocates with lived experience in foster care, continues to call on DCS to use a portion of the funds to provide every young person who aged out of foster care with a $500 no-strings-attached payment. Stimulus checks are the fastest and fairest way to get the funds to foster youth who need help now to pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities.

Please join FAAZ in the #ReleaseTheFunds campaign by signing this petition.

Sign the #ReleaseTheFunds petition

More News

15,000 Arizona kids gained health coverage during the pandemic – but we’ve still got work to do.

Health insurance is a long-term investment for children. It helps families get the care they need, when they need it, without fear of expensive health bills. And it helps kids learn, grow, and play at their best.   Racial and ethnic disparities in coverage rates persist, but a new report by Georgetown…

News

National academic progress report is out - See how AZ students performed

As expected, the COVID pandemic had a significant impact on our nation’s children.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) recent report shows students’ NAEP scores have decreased in math and reading competency.  Although Arizona students fared better overall than most...

News

The Importance of Federal Spending for Children

A new report released last week underscores the importance of federal investments on issues that impact children and families. It is often said that your priorities are reflected in where you spend your money, and it seems children are. An afterthought when budgets are created. The 2022 Children’s...